Restaurant Review: Massawa (on 121st & Amsterdam)

by Mansi Vira

If you’re interested in food, by now you’ve probably eaten all along Broadway. But have you ever tried Massawa, the Eritrean and Ethiopian food restaurant on 121st and Amsterdam, just across campus?

Food: 4.5/5
The dishes are indeed traditional and exotic, filled with a variety of rich spices, ranging from mild to spicy. For vegetarians, the cuisine consists of various beans drenched in savory sauces, mixed vegetables, and greens. Many of the veggies and beans are vegan as well! For non-vegetarians, there is also beef, poultry, seafood, and lamb. Both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are served on a spongy, sour-dough like flat bread called injera, which you use to scoop the veggies/beans with. Yes, no silverware!

The portions may seem small, you’ll be surprisingly full at least ¾ of your way through the meal—if not before. The combo dishes are always the best, for you can get a taste of it all!

Atmosphere: 4/5
The restaurant is on the small side, but this can equally mean that it’s cozy—or semi-romantic, since it has quite dim lighting. Conversing is actually possible, since you don’t have glaring music playing in the background. There is an upper and lower level, so the setting is appropriate for moderately sized groups, not necessarily large ones, though they, too, could probably be accommodated.

Service: 3/5
Although he service is a bit slow, and it may seem that the waiters have forgotten about you, the scrumptiously delicious ethnic food almost makes the service seem unimportant. Nevertheless, everyone is super friendly and helpful when ordering (since the names of the dishes are quite difficult to pronounce!).

Mansi Vira is a member of SGA’s Food Advisory Board. You can contact the Food Advisory Board at 


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